Who's Side Am I On Anyway?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I'm into the first week of the online bible study for Unglued by Lysa Terkeurst and just finished reading chapter two on Wednesday. Just two chapters in and I've already discovered so many golden nuggets! From reading Lysa's account of her life moments and reading the comments of my bible study buddies, I know I am not alone in feeling "unglued" and that there is a better answer than duct tape!
When I discovered the reference to Joshua in Chapter two, I had instant joy. Joshua has always been a favorite book of mine. Several years ago while I was facing a major life decision and was seeking assurance after assurance and more assurance from God that I was taking the right path, He led me to Joshua 1:9 ("Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”). What more could I ask for from God than that He be with me?But I digress.......
So I'm very familiar with the passage in Joshua that Lysa chose to illustrate the question "Who's side am I on?" But I had never viewed that passage in quite that way. I had always just took it as an assurance that God is always on the right side.I never turned it around on myself until now.
Who's side am I on? Do I switch sides if the going gets rough? Do I wait til the battle is over and the victor is clear before choosing a side? Do I fully trust God 100% with everything?
I reflected back on some incidents in my past and wasn't exactly proud of all my track record with trusting God. I start off 100% trusting God....or so I think. As time goes by and the situation hasn't been resolved in the way I thought, or the timing I thought, or the way I would have done it, I start to question myself as to whether I heard God right. Did He really say this or that? Did He say move or be still? So then I go back for more assurance (see paragraph 2) that I did get the right direction or instruction.
Even at all that I never connected not trusting God completely with not being on His side. In fact I find it appalling to think I was ever not on God's side. But now I can understand that being fully committed to being on God's side leads me to trusting Him 100% with all my heart at all times.
From chapter two "And if we ground ourselves in the reality that we trust God, we can face circumstances that are out of our control with out acting out of control. We can't always fix our circumstances, but we can fix our minds on God. We can do that." I like that. It reminds me once again that I should always fix my eyes on Christ..not on the raging storm. Everything in this world is temporary. The lasting constant is Christ. I have to keep that as my "true north". Everything else leads to chaos....to coming unglued.

The beauty of "imperfect progress"

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The statement from chapter 1 of Unglued: ”What kept me from making changes was the feeling I wouldn’t do it perfectly. I knew I’d still mess up and the changes wouldn’t come instantly.” resonated in my soul on such a deep level that it felt like my heart was vibrating!
I have struggled for so long with the idea of being "perfect." It even crept into my spiritual life. I had to be the "perfect" christian. And as we all know somewhere in the deep recesses of our hearts and mind, perfection is impossible for us to attain. So I basically set myself up for failure on a daily basis. And after the failure would come guilt and shame that I had failed myself, my family, my friends and more importantly I had failed God.
It set up a vicious cycle in my prayer life. I'd spend part of my prayer time requesting help to be perfect, part for forgiveness for failure and the part in desperate pleas for a better tomorrow.....a perfect tomorrow.
After this cycle went on for too long, I finally had a dear sweet friend who FINALLY got me to truly understand what God's grace meant for my life and my failures. You'd think that was the beginning of my success story right? From that point on I wasn't bound by the desire to be perfect or the fear of failure right?
Ah, if only! In reality, what happened was I quit trying. If I couldn't make perfect choices then I would just not move. I was afraid to take risks, to get out of my comfort zone for fear of making a mistake. I took the beauty of grace and turned into something that made sense with my need to be perfect.
After several months of this refusal to budge and being bound by a new fear, God let me in on a little secret. I was never going to be perfect and that was perfectly fine with Him. In fact, if I could attain perfection, I would have no need for Him. That was my wow moment. God not only expects me to be imperfect and make mistakes, He is there to make my imperfection work for His glory!

I second that emotion

Monday, September 24, 2012

I committed to doing an online bible study for the first time in my life after reading a post by Lysa Terkeurst over at Proverbs 31 Ministries about her book Unglued. What drew me to the book was for one I enjoy her writing style and two she seemed to have been writing from my journal of life.
With the beginning of menopause a year or so ago, I have struggled with keeping my emotions under control. Sometimes it's like watching a video of someone else. I say things or feel things that have no rationale. I have spent much of my prayer time asking for help with being able to control or even eliminate emotions and to get out from under the bondage of hormones.
After reading chapter one of her book yesterday, I have a new hope. I believe God can and will show me how to properly use and express my emotions. No longer do I feel hopeless and like an utter failure emotionally. I anxiously await to see how "God reveals how emotions can work FOR us instead of against us."

In Awe

Friday, September 21, 2012

It is never a bad feeling to be in awe of the Almighty. I never tire of those moments when I behold what an awesome God I serve. I love that when I've just about gotten used to His enormous love for me, He pours out even more!
I've been in a bible study over the book of Proverbs for about a month now and oh my God is just so....well so God. He had already been revealing to me how I had been "fooled" by the interloper over the summer but with Proverbs....wow did I see how deep that deception went and how God outlined each step in His word. Not just how the interloper comes at you but also how to combat that.
One particularly profound moment happened in Proverbs 4. In that chapter God talks about how the wicked are constantly plotting evil and trying to lure us into it. And His advice? Don't even look in that direction! Don't get caught up in trying to persuade them away from evil UNLESS God directly instructs you to do so. Otherwise, we get sucked into the evil.
God is God and I'm so glad He is my everlasting, loving, constant Savior!